The Class’ 17 students proudly accepted their awards from the Director of the Institute, Professor Azim Nanji, as part of the evening’s formal proceedings.
- Marodsilton Muborakshoeva, from Tajikistan, gave the valedictory address in which she shared her experiences of being at the Institute as well as described the unique learning and development opportunities the Graduate Programme provided. “[The IIS] enables students with different backgrounds,” said Marodsilton “to come under one intellectual environment where they share their knowledge and skills.”
- Dr Faisal Devji, Head of Graduate Studies, echoed her sentiments by commenting that the Class of 2003 consisted of one of the most diverse groups of students to have come through the Graduate Programme representing Ismaili traditions from Badakhshan, Iran, Syria, Northern Pakistan as well as South and Central Asia.
- Dr Aziz Esmail, Governor and former Dean of the IIS, in his address, reiterated the need for those present to contribute to the development of an intellectual culture and to apply the knowledge that they have gained to their own disciplines and walks of life to larger philosophical and ethical concerns. Dr Esmail also urged the graduating class to question inherited concepts such as ‘tradition’ and ‘inter-disciplinarity’ and not blindly accept the positive value and interpretations assigned to them by societal norms.
In his closing remarks, Professor Nanji asked the audience to actively participate in creating a future that is less fragile, less fragmented and, like the Silk Road of the past, a world that is open to the exchange of ideas, rather than the narrowing of perspectives.